This just in…Hilton is installing a custom alarm clock in all of their hotel rooms for all brands. More than you ever wanted to know on the subject can be found here.
I like the idea of the new clock because unlike most hotel models (especially in branded hotels), it looks stylish, seems easy to use and includes MP3 connectivity. In fact, of the reasons listed, that’s the most important one…the music. The other reasons have more to do with our being challenged with the operation of current models and our sleep habits than the actual benefits of the “new” clock. They took a survey in late March of this year to determine why people don’t like the current timepiece (I know, don’t ask why they just now took the survey…seems odd to me too). The survey responses indicate that most of us don’t like to wake-up to the annoying buzzer (duh!), and are worried about sleeping in late (double duh!). Isn’t this why we have an alarm clock? Here’s the kicker, “ In fact, millions of Americans consider setting a hotel alarm clock to be the most complicated task versus filing their taxes or programming their VCR”. You must be kidding! So, I guess this new clock will prevent us from sleeping in late and be “more productive” as a result of the soothing wake-up music.
That’s way too much information to affect a fairly minor change. And, it's probably not the real reason anyway. It probably has more to do with a challenge to the marketing department to get the most bang for the buck with a low cost item change (the old clocks probably ran about $10). Personally, I'd worry less about the clocks, and more about those new ATM style check-in kiosks.
Here’s how I would have promoted this new guestroom feature…our old clocks looked, felt and worked like crap. We heard your complaints and saw enough remnants from your fits of rage to figure out something was wrong. So, we changed them, and in the process made it easier for you to enjoy your own music. And, if you didn’t bring any, we’ll loan you an iPod…enjoy your stay.